the egg and the security deposit

my brother threw an egg at the wall once
to defuse a tense situation
the shock of it made us all laugh
once we saw each other, mouths gaping

there’s a problem in every day, i’ve found
with our lists and our self expectations
i start ten to six but five out of ten
days i come up short and full of self hatred

oh what’s it matter what’s it matter
i’m still not too sure
half the time i just need the distraction
there’s the egg, the impact and everything
between. but (i think) life is found
in the laughter

if you can read this

you’ve heard the theory that there are endless
parallel universes with endless versions
of ourselves living different lives due to splits
at certain events?

so far i lived in a universe of 28 years
without nuclear war
without my dog falling off the bridge
that one time when he almost might’ve plus 4
car crashes where no one was hurt except
my PT cruiser, may he rust in peace never
to overheat again.

so the theory isn’t quite like that but probably
there’s a version of me living under a woman president
a bit persnickety about this or that, but overall well
and able to sleep at night. if you can read this
then you aren’t there, either

you are not alone
it’s something to repeat when fear takes hold
i fear the actions that fear may drive us to
the stampedes and the ‘save yourselves!’ unless we remember
you are not alone

souls and enzymes

the other night i woke up to find a man
sleeping next to me. horrified, i realized
i was married
and the man was my husband.
then i was even more shocked

i forget
that i’m getting older.
i don’t know what to tell me –
the plan of having your first kid by 30
doesn’t seem like a good idea anymore
you haven’t achieved what you want to achieve
you don’t bake
the letter from Hogwarts isn’t coming and your love life
followed exactly along with each of Adele’s albums
that’s a comfort, actually, since she’s mad
she’s getting older, too.
you married well, at least,
much better than anyone expected
so it’s not all bad but
do better

my mom said she looks in the mirror and can’t
believe how old she is. the inside is still the same,
she tells me. in the ninth grade we did experiments
using the same enzyme over and over
Mrs. Defonso asked “what does that tell you
about the enzyme?” and we were shitty kids
so she had to tell us “it means the enzyme isn’t used
in the reaction!”

i don’t believe in destiny but
i do in souls and enzymes


they say don’t let a fox guard the hen house but
what if the hens become foxes and the house is a fox
too? i was raised in the land of happy meals
and participation medals, baked in the wry distrust
that only a pair of eastern bloc transplants could instill.
as a mushroom haircutted child, rules were law
but only at home.
punch the other children if they started it! nuns
lie! even at five
no authority reigned without reason
it’s madness
it’s gold lettering on my grandpa’s ticket to Auschwitz

we’ve been here before
oh the smiles and complicated phrases
oh the anger and fire
and what can we do
but link arms and never turn our backs on the fox
or each other?


even if it could be worse
if it could be worse
questioning and seeking don’t make you
ungrateful. spit on that word.
spit as they blow it out in sighs about timelines
and inconveniences
trust your heart, even if you only hear it
on sunday nights, whispering that the most dangerous
place to be is ‘not so bad’


keep falling in love with strangers and you’ll confirm
that it’s not the fall that kills you, but the sudden

there are endless mysteriously sad eyes
half-surrendered smiles and quiet meals
to run barefoot through fields to. i know you
dream of what was lost
but hear me out, i’m from a keep-your-shoes-on
kind of family and that bit of cautious
discomfort keeps the glass out of your heels

with practice

sometimes you get too close a look at the cracks
in your psyche and think
they should put me down. it’s true that the voices in your head
were once outside your head
speaking to you
about you

playback amplifies it, brewed fresh daily
like it’s keeping you alive when really
it’s an infection eating its way through your gut
picked up in the blood
pumped through your heart and into every cell
in your stupiduseless body

when i was in school this professor threw up a picture
of a bone infection on the screen
no warning.
it made me dizzy. that guy didn’t teach
that it takes at least eight weeks of antibiotics to touch that
he was an ass
and anyway, it’s one of those things
you learn on your own


shattering all the windows

that year, i lived in an apartment that was too much like
Big, but empty
nothing worked. fuses blew and needed to be unscrewed
and replaced. the radiators leaked
so it was cold all winter and the oven
gave up in October. i didn’t know it
at the time, but my landlord was caught laundering
drug money and also, i
was depressed

that’s why i was so skinny then
when we met
so skinny and depressed
oblivious to it all.
he came over to bake cookies once
right before the oven crapped out. now
i’ve an underweared man
in the kitchen
take out pizza with extra ranch because who cares
and other married